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& ALL HAIL SLAYER The Gazette Fillmore welcomes the enduring sound of metal royalty. B-5 SILVER SPRING | TAKOMA PARK | BURTONSVILLE DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, November 13, 2013 25 cents Silver Spring middle school faces another delay in renovation Montgomery teacher starts petition against MSA Though hundreds sign, state officials say testing must happen n BY LINDSAY A. POWERS STAFF WRITER A petition started by a Montgomery County Public Schools teacher calling for the state not to administer the Maryland School Assessment tests this school year has gained hundreds of signatures from around the state. Tiferet Ani, a social studies teacher in the Quince Orchard cluster, said that with the county — and state — implementing the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers test and no longer looking to the MSA tests to track student progress, she thinks it is a waste of time and resources to administer the annual test to elementary and middle school students this year. PARCC, which aligns with the Common Core State Standards, will be fully implemented in the school system next school year. As of Wednesday morning, about 619 people had signed the petition titled “Cancel the MSA.” Ani, in her seventh year of teaching in the school system, said she has administered the test four times. The test is administered over a twoweek period during which teachers lose instructional time, Ani said. Ani said she wants to see the state choose not to administer the test — which she said doesn’t match up with schools’ new curriculum based on Common Core — to save instructional time as well as taxpayer dollars. She said she plans to deliver the petition to the school board on Nov. 12 and try to meet with Superintendent Joshua P. Starr face to face. She will also try to handdeliver the petition to Annapolis, she said. However, when asked if local districts have any flexibility on the matter, Maryland State Department of Education spokesman William Reinhard said, “They don’t have any.” Maryland must continue to test students with the MSA this year based on the Elementary and Secondary Education Proposal delays project to 2023 n BY ALINE BARROS STAFF WRITER A local middle school community is disappointed with what may mean another delay on its new building project. The new Eastern Middle School building will not be completed until 2023 if the county approves Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua P. Starr $1.55 billion Capital Improvements Program proposal, which prioritizes solutions for overcrowded schools over scheduled renovations. Eastern was originally constructed in 1951. It was included in the Capital Improvement Program for major renovations in the 2011-2016 fiscal year with a completion date of August 2019. According to the Capital Improvements Program Master Plan, the first delay was because of fiscal constraints in the county, and completion was pushed back to 2021. The document did not provide project costs or architectural designs. See PETITION, Page A-10 Red, white and blue yonder “There is a profound sense of disappointment on behalf of the staff and the community,” said Eastern Middle School Principal Casey Crouse. Dana Tofig, spokesman for Montgomery County Public Schools, said there is a need to build classroom capacity in the Downcounty Consortium and throughout the county. Tofig added that Starr had to make “the difficult” recommendation to delay 20 revitalization/expansion projects, with secondary school projects delayed two years and elementary school projects delayed by one year. “The Downcounty Consortium, where Eastern Middle School is located, has added 12,400 students over the past six years and most of those students have entered the elementary schools, creating a significant shortage of permanent space for these students to learn,”said Tofig in an email. Eastern Middle School has 874 in a 1,024 program capacity, and receives students from Montgomery Knolls Elementary See RENOVATION, Page A-10 Rockville landscaping company agrees to be acquired in $1.6B deal Brickman has 10,000 employees nationwide n BY KEVIN JAMES SHAY STAFF WRITER The Brickman Group has agreed to be bought by global investment firm KKR & Co. for $1.6 billion in a move made to position the Rockville commercial landscaping company for further growth, executives said Monday. The deal is a strict ownership change that will retain the headquarters of Brickman — one of the nation’s largest landscaping companies — in Rockville, said LaNella HooperWilliams, a Brickman spokeswoman. Los Angeles private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners is now privately held Brickman’s largest investor, acquiring a majority stake in 2007 for $847 million. “It will be business as usual,” Hooper-Williams said. Brickman was founded in 1939 in the Chicago area by Theodore W. Brickman Sr., a horticulturist for the Chicago AIR FORCE STAFF SGT. ROBERT BARNETT Air Force Lt. Col. Gene Croft, a Silver Spring native, carried an American flag for his family as he flew over Afghanistan on Nov. 2. Croft was a combat systems operator with the 22nd Operations Group at the Transit Center at Manas, Kyrgyzstan. Tax credit would help Burtonsville businesses n Public hearing scheduled for Nov. 26 BY RYAN MARSHALL STAFF WRITER Lawmakers are hopeful that a proposed new tax credit for businesses will help revitalize the Burtonsville area. Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Dist. 5) of Silver Spring introduced the bill on Nov. 5 to create the property tax credit for NEWS CANDIDATE PROFILES Karen Montgomery seeks another term for Dist. 14 seat; D’Juan Hopewell campaigns for Dist 20 seat. A-4 businesses in the Burtonsville Crossroads area. A public hearing on the bill is scheduled for Nov. 26 at 1:30 p.m. The bill will give businesses in Burtonsville a chance to apply for tax credits if they make improvements to their properties, Ervin said. The credit would exempt businesses from 80 percent of property taxes on improvements made to their property for five years after the improvements are made. The legislation will hopefully help re- vive a once-thriving downtown area, she said. Ultimately, the plan for Burtonsville includes a main street, public green space and a village center, all of which will require private investment, according to a memorandum on the bill that Ervin sent to her council colleagues in October. The bill should help encourage investment throughout Burtonsville, including the Burtonsville Crossing Shopping Cen- See BURTONSVILLE, Page A-10 SPORTS PAST STRUGGLES JUST THAT Clarksburg football returns to the playoffs for the first time since 2008. B-1 Around the County Automotive Calendar Celebrations Classified Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please A-4 B-13 A-2 A-13 B-10 A-5 A-14 A-12 B-1 Park District. His son, Theodore “Dick” Brickman Jr., joined the family business in 1954, and the company started opening branches on the East Coast in the 1970s. Scott Brickman of Potomac, Dick Brickman’s son, joined in 1986 and became CEO in 1998. Former Aramark Corp. executive Andrew Kerin took over as CEO in 2012, while Scott Brickman became board chairman, the position his father had held. Brickman Group has some 10,000 employees nationwide, with about 100 at its Research Boulevard headquarters and 1,600 in the Maryland-Virginia region, Hooper-Williams said. The company recently moved its headquarters from Gaithersburg to Rockville, and there are other offices in Montgomery County and Frederick among more than 160 branches nationwide. Kerin said in a statement that the deal will allow Brickman to “accelerate our growth.” Last year, the company had revenue of about $900 million, See DEAL, Page A-10 See Our Ad Inside! RECYCLE 1906187

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